Today Gujarat government purchases new private jet worth Rs 191 crores for Chief Minister, VIP travel. The swanky two-engine ‘Bombardier Challenger 650’ would be delivered in the next two weeks.
New aircraft to be used by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other dignitaries like governor and deputy chief minister, formally the procurement process was launched five years ago. As per officials the two-engine ‘Bombardier Challenger 650’ would be delivered in the next 2 weeks time. The new aircraft can carry 12 passengers and has a flying range of around 7,000 kilometres with a speed of around 870 kilometres an hour, which is much higher than the present ‘Beechcraft Super King’ aircraft that has been used to ferry the CM and other dignitaries for last 20 years. All formalities related to its procurement have been completed. Director of Civil Aviation, Gujarat, said it would take another two months before the new jet can become airbornedue to approvals and clearances from the Customs, DGCA and other authorities. At present, the state government owns and operates Beechcraft Super King turboprop aircraft with the capacity to fly nine passengers in one go. Finally, the aircraft was acquired a new aircraft in the third bid. Present aricraft was also an older generation aircraft, the state government was compelled to hire private jets to take the CM on long distance journeys. Hiring a chartered aircraft would cost around Rs 1 lakhs per hour or even more. Beechcraft Super King can actually ferry 4 to 5 passengers as additional fuel need to be carried along because of its limited flying range. Refuelling is also a big issue with the old aircraft.